About 8 months ago, my watch broke. Nothing serious, a pin fell from the band. I kept it in my bedroom drawer. After about 3 months of not using it, I finally took it to the jewelry store. They looked at it and said it’d cost about $10 to fix; The watch itself was a Nixon Graduate SS, worth about $100 new. I agreed to the repair. When the jewelry store returned my watch, it had a pin back in place, but it was a little loose. I lost the pin (and re-broke my watch) in two days.
At this point, I gave up.
I returned my watch to its well-hewn place inside my beside table and thought little more of it. Besides, at that point I had already grown used to checking my cell phone for the time. There have already been numerous articles about how the cellular phone taking the place of the watch in American life. However ever since I purchased an Apple iPhone this month, I have been wondering exactly what relation the cellular phone is going to take to the wristwatch in the coming years. Most commentators have said that the cell phone is simply rendering the watch obsolete. I have come around to the view that cell phones (especially as they become more feature-filled and hence more expensive) are actually replacing the former place of wristwatches as the chief social means of conveying social status to others.
A Rolex or Omega watch previously enjoyed (and still do, to a certain extent) a level of cache that is associated with only a few other things–sports cars, yachts, big houses, etc. The distinction between a Rolex and any of the things listed then must be that a Rolex can be easily sported on the hand while riding the subway or in the meeting room–a Yacht cannot be brought along for an errand to the store.
I am convinced that a Rolex or Omega is worn not to enjoy any of the supposedly superior technological innovations that are put into its manufacture. It is for the simple purpose of conveying wealth and stature. How, then should this not be the same case with the iPhone or some other hideously-expensive device? Humans are seen daily checking their e-mails, talking on the phone, and sending text messages. These activities have long replaced the older flick of the wrist to signify checking what time it was. How then is the cell phone any different than a watch? In no way that I can see. It follows that the most expensive or hard-to-come-upon phone of any season will (and probably already does) contain the same amount of cache as any fancy watch.